STI & STD Statistics [2024 Data] – How Many People Have It?

Whether you’re male, female, heterosexual, gay, or anything else in between, if you’re sexually active, you risk contracting a sexually transmitted infection.

But just how common are STIs? What’s the most common STI? And should you be worried about syphilis?

Below, we dive into a slew of statistics to explore everything there is to know about sexually transmitted infections.

Let’s go!

sti std statistics

Key STI/STD Statistics

  • More than 1 million STIs are acquired every day.
  • 68 million people are estimated to currently have an STI.
  • There are 374 million new STIs diagnosed each year.
  • 50% of individuals say they know someone who has been infected with an STI.
  • African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to acquire an STI than Caucasians.
  • STI cases reached an all-time high for the sixth consecutive year in 2021.
  • 37% increase in STD cases between 2014 and 2019.
  • 50% of STI acquisitions are young adults aged 15 to 24.
  • More than 34,000 young Americans have HIV.
  • 30% of young adult women have not been tested for STIs in the past year.
  • 63% of young adult men have not been tested in the past year.
  • African-Americans, Indigenous people, and Hispanics are 2 to 8 times more likely to have an STI compared to Caucasians.
  • HPV is the most common STI in the world.
  • 51% of Americans aren’t sure if HPV is curable or not.
  • By age 50, 80% of women will have HPV. 10% of those women will develop a higher risk of cervical cancer.
  • 1 in 5 Americans have an STI.
  • Half of all Americans will acquire an STI in their lives.
  • $16 billion USD was spent treating STIs in 2018.
  • As many as 35% of teens have HPV.
  • 1 in 6 Americans has herpes.
  • 67% of people worldwide have herpes.
  • More than two million cases of trichomoniasis reported in 2018.
  • 70% of trichomoniasis infections are asymptomatic.
  • New cases of syphilis have increased by 74%.
  • Asian people are 30% less likely to acquire syphilis.
  • Cases of congenital syphilis have quadrupled in the United States.

How Common Are STIs?

Unfortunately, many experts say that cases of sexually transmitted infections are on the rise.

So, just how common are STIs? And how many people get an STI yearly?

  • Globally, people contract more than 1 million STIs every day.
  • New STI cases increased by 1% between 2020 and 2021.
  • In 2018, experts estimated a staggering 68 million STIs worldwide.
  • Three hundred seventy-four million new sexually transmitted infections are contracted every year.
  • 25% of newly acquired STIs are curable.
  • Older adults are less likely to know someone who has been infected with an STI.
  • 60% of women say they know someone who has had a sexually transmitted infection.
  • 50% of people say they know someone who has had a sexually transmitted disease.
  • 1 in 3 adults in the US says they are aware that STIs are more common today than in the past.
  • STIs are more prevalent in African-American and Hispanic adults compared to Caucasians.
  • 13% of African-American and Hispanic adults worry about acquiring an STI.
  • Only 5% of Caucasian adults worry about STIs.
  • In 2021, STD cases reached an all-time high for the sixth consecutive year.
  • In 2019, more than 2.5 million syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea infections were reported.
  • Between 2014 and 2019, there were approximately 37% more newly diagnosed STI cases.

What Age Group Has The Highest STI rates?

It’s believed that STIs are significantly more common in teenagers and young adults. However, all age groups are impacted by sexually transmitted infections.

  • Most STI carriers are young people.
  • Nearly 50% of STI contractions were by young adults between the ages of 15 and 24.
  • Sexually active high school students and young adults are at the highest risk of contracting an STI.
  • Teens and young adults only make up 25% of the sexually active population. However, they make up roughly 50% of all newly diagnosed cases of STIs.
  • People under the age of 65 are generally more aware of STI treatments than those older than 65.
  • In 2009, more than 34,000 American young people between 13 and 24 lived with an active HIV infection.
  • 1 in 3 teenagers says they do not know HIV is a sexually transmitted infection.

Prevalence Of Chlamydia And Gonorrhea By Age Group

 Ages 15 - 19Ages 20 - 24Ages 25 - 29Ages 30 - 39Age 40+
Chlamydia30%40%16%10%4%
Gonorrhea25%35%17%14%9%

*CDC data from 2012

Which Gender Has A Higher Rate Of STDs?

  • Females are at a higher risk than males for contracting a sexually transmitted infection.
  • Only 1 in 3 female teenagers and 45% of young adult women (aged 19 to 25) have discussed STIs with their healthcare providers within the past three years.
  • Women get checked for STIs more often than men.
  • 70% of young adult women have been tested for STIs in the past year.
  • Only 37% of young adult men have been tested.

What Race Has The Highest STD rate?

  • Black or African-American people are 5 to 8 times more likely to have an STI.
  • Indigenous people are 3 to 5 times more likely to have an STI.
  • Latino or Hispanic people are 1 to 2 times more likely to have an STI.

What’s The Most Common STD?

Before diving into the most common STIs and STDs in society, it’s essential to learn the difference between STIs and STDs.

STI stands for Sexually Transmitted Infection, whereas STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease.

Although many sexually transmitted diseases, such as AIDS, start as infections, not all do.

Additionally, many STIs can go unnoticed without any symptoms.

Therefore, it’s more accurate to call them infections rather than diseases.

So what’s the most common STD/STI?

  • The human papillomavirus—or HPV—is considered the most prevalent STI worldwide, with more than 79 million cases in the US.
  • There are more than 150 strains of the human papillomavirus.
  • Most often, HPV causes painless warts that clear up without treatment in two years.
  • There are 13 strains of HPV capable of causing cervical cancer, and at least one variant is linked to cancer of the penis, vagina, vulva, anus, head, and neck.
  • More than 40 variants of HPV can infect not only the genital region but also the mucosa of the mouth and throat.
  • Roughly 51% of American adults say they are unsure whether HPV is curable.
  • Most people who have HPV are unaware they are infected.
  • 80% of women by age 50 will have acquired an HPV infection at least once.
  • Men often carry HPV but are less likely to show symptoms than women.
  • 1 in 10 women with an HPV infection on their cervix will develop complications putting them at a higher risk of cancer.

What Percent Of People Have An STI/STD In The US?

As you can see, STIs and STDs are incredibly prevalent in society throughout the world.

But what about the United States? Who has more STDs, males or females? And what state has the most STDs?

  • Approximately 20% of Americans have some form of sexually transmitted infection.
  • There are 20 million new sexually transmitted infections reported in the United States each year.
  • More than 50% of Americans will be diagnosed with an STI at some point.
  • An estimated 110 million men and women in the US are currently infected with an STI.
  • 54% of Americans say they know someone who has or has had an STI.
  • 8% of the US public worry about acquiring an STI within the following year.
  • Over 51% of Americans know that chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhea are curable.
  • Only 59% of Americans know that genital herpes is incurable.

Most Common STIs In The US By Type

STI TypePrevalence
HPV42.5 million cases
Herpes18.6 million cases
Trichomoniasis2.2 million cases
Chlamydia2.4 million cases
HIV984,000 cases
Gonorrhea209,000 cases
Syphilis156,000 cases
Hepatitis B103000

*statistics from 2018

The Cost Of STIs On The US Public Health System

  • In 2018, experts estimated that nearly $16 billion in healthcare funding was spent on treating STIs.
  • 25% of that money was directly attributed to treating STIs in women.
  • Another 26% was spent treating STIs in young adults aged 15 to 24.
  • $1.1 billion was spent treating chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, easily preventable infections.
STI TypeDirect Medical Spending (2018)
Hepatitis B$46 million
Herpes simplex virus$91 million
Trichomoniasis$144 million
Syphilis$174 million
Gonorrhea$271 million
Chlamydia$691 million
HPV$775 million
HIV$13.7 billion

What Are The 3 Most Common STDs?

Because many STDs are asymptomatic, it’s impossible to tell how many people are carrying a sexually transmitted virus or infection at any time.

However, in 2018, HPV, herpes, trichomoniasis, and gonorrhea accounted for roughly 98% of all ongoing STI infections.

Below, we’ve listed a few facts about three of the most common STDs in the world.

#1 – The Human Papillomavirus

  • The human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection.
  • HPV has been linked to more than 300,000 cases of cervical cancer resulting in death each year.
  • As many as 35% of teenagers between 14 and 19 are infected with HPV.
  • Gardasil and Cervarix are FDA-approved vaccinations against HPV and can be administered as early as age 9 to protect against future infection.

#2 – Herpes

  • Genital herpes, caused by the herpes simplex virus, is the second most common STI.
  • More than 500 million individuals between 15 and 59 are believed to be carrying the herpes simplex virus.
  • 1 in 6 Americans aged 14 to 49 is walking around with genital herpes infections.
  • 67% of the global population is estimated to carry the herpes virus.
  • Genital herpes is more common in women.
  • 20% of women have genital herpes.
  • 11% of men have genital herpes.

#3 – Trichomoniasis

  • Trichomoniasis is the third most common STI.
  • More than 2% of American women aged 14 to 49 have trichomoniasis.
  • Less than 1% of American men have it.
  • African-American and Hispanic women are as much as ten times more likely to contract trich.
  • In 2018, there were more than two million trichomoniasis cases in the US.
  • Only about 30% of those infected with trichomoniasis show any symptoms.
  • 70% of trichomoniasis cases are asymptomatic.
  • Trichomoniasis increases the body’s ability to contract and spread other sexually transmitted infections, including HIV.

What Percentage Of People Have Syphilis?

Although HPV, herpes, and trichomoniasis are the most prevalent STIs, other infections, like syphilis, are also extremely common in society.

So who mostly has syphilis?

  • Men are the most prevalent carriers of the syphilis virus.
  • In 2020, there were more than 133,900 cases of syphilis in the US.
  • A significant majority of male syphilis cases occur in gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men.
  • Since 2015, new cases of syphilis have increased by 74%.
  • During its primary and secondary stages, transmission from sexual contact is 10% to 30% likely.
  • If left untreated, 25% of individuals with syphilis will develop tertiary syphilis, causing irreversible damage to the brain, eyes, heart, liver, and other vital organs.
  • The virus is no longer infectious when it reaches the tertiary stage.
  • All stages of syphilis are easily treatable with antibiotics, such as penicillins.
  • Black, Hispanic, and Indigenous people are between 2 to 5 times more likely to contract syphilis compared to Caucasians.
  • Asian people are 30% less likely to acquire syphilis than Caucasian people.
  • Individuals between the ages of 25 and 29 are the most likely to contract the virus.

How Common Is Syphilis During Pregnancy?

  • Because of the virus’s effects on a newborn baby, pregnant women are particularly impacted by syphilis.
  • More than 2,100 cases of congenital syphilis were reported in 2020, resulting in at least 149 stillbirths or sudden infant death.
  • There is a 1 in 4 risk of death associated with congenital syphilis.
  • Between 2014 and 2019, cases of congenital syphilis quadrupled in the United States.
  • In 2016, at least one million pregnant women were believed to be infected with syphilis, resulting in more than 350,000 adverse births.

Sources

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